The Sycamore star attended the Illini one-day camp Monday and enjoyed himself.
"It went great. I got a lot of reps, a lot of one-on-ones. It's good to get out here and compete against some other guys."
Illini quarterback coach Jeff Brohm made a good impression as well.
"I liked the guy a lot. He was hands-on, and everything he said made sense to me."
Bartels learned some valuable lessons on quarterbacking, one in particular.
"Being calm on my 3-step and 5-step drops. Being quick but not too quick."
This was not his first trip to campus.
"I came for a spring practice, and they showed us the campus. It was awesome. It was one of the coolest campuses I have been to so far. Then we went through the facilities and finally sat down and watched practice. My favorite part was the facilities—probably the best I have seen so far."
Bartels also commented on what he saw from the football team.
"They looked good. I was only able to watch a little bit of it. We had to take off because I had to get back for 7-on-7. But they really looked tough."
The 6'-4", 210-pounder led the Spartans to a 9-2 record, a No. 3 seed, and a second-round playoff berth in 2010. He reflected on his season.
"It went great. I thought I improved a lot watching the tape from my sophomore season and junior season. My team did great—we lost to Montini Catholic the second year in a row in the playoffs, who won state both years."
As thankful as Bartels was for the successful season, he is even more optimistic heading into this fall.
"I am really excited about next season. It should be a great year. We have done awesome since 7th grade—we've only lost one game since middle school, in our freshman year. I moved up to varsity as a sophomore, so I didn't get to play with them that year, but they still won conference. Our main goal is to win state."
Offensive Line Coach Joe Gilbert has been recruiting Bartels for Illinois. Gilbert has left an extremely positive impression on Bartels.
"Coach Gilbert is a great guy, a funny guy. I went and talked to him at the University, and seemed like a really nice guy. He talked to my coach, and we arranged to attend the camp. He called me not too long ago, and he was easy to talk to."
However, Bartels is yet to obtain an offer from Illinois. Although it appears the Illini have some interest in him, he does not feel extremely confident in receiving an offer.
"It seems like they are looking for more of a runner, and I am more of a drop-back passer. I just don't have outstanding speed. But if it comes down to camp, hopefully I did really well and maybe something will change."
Illinois is not the only Big Ten team interested in Bartels. Indiana and Northwestern are going after him, along with Western Michigan, Northern Illinois, Toledo, Miami (OH), and Ohio. So, what do these teams see in Bartels?
"My arm strength is probably what's getting me recruited right now. I'm not the fastest kid, but I definitely have the arm strength. And from what my teammates say, I am a leader, and I'm always looking to be positive. You always have to stay up because anything can happen, no matter how much you are down."
Bartels was hoping he would get more publicity, but he has not received any D-1 offers at this point. Yet he remains positive and does all he can to prove he deserves one.
"I thought I stood out on tape, but unfortunately not everyone thought so. I am just a competitor, and I know I have to go into each camp, battle with the guys there, and prove I can play with anybody out there. Because if I can get an offer, it looks like it will come down to how I perform in camp."
Bartels has shown Illinois coaches what he can do. Now he must wait and see what transpires.